It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… The Osito Bimbo Bear balloon! From the West Coast to the East Coast to the Midwest and in the heart of the South, Bimbo Sweet Baked Goods, one of Bimbo Bakeries USA’s brands, has spent the summer and autumn months on its annual Rise & Shine Tour. Chances are you might have spotted Osito, the adorable Bimbo Bear mascot, blown up to larger than life proportions as a gigantic hot air balloon this year — or even during 2016 when the tour first got its start. Hop on board the Osito balloon with us as we take 360 readers around the country for a one-of-a-kind flight!

The Rise & Shine Tour was created by Bimbo USA to give families a reason to get together, share experiences, and have fun. The tour is rooted in traditional values, which both Osito and the Bimbo brand strongly believe in, as well as the nurturing voice of our parents or beloved relatives that motivate us to get up and start the day. Those voices allow us to quite literally rise and shine as human beings — to help others, respect the world, and build strong families to make the world a better place. When we give it our all, Osito is able to communicate his true essence, which is to delight, nourish, and serve the world. Hot air balloons have long been known for bringing smiles to the faces of families everywhere, and Bimbo USA created a hot air balloon in the shape of Osito Bimbo to give families an unforgettable experience while promoting family values, health, and nutrition.

In making the balloon, the team at Bimbo USA used 2,960 yards of fabric that were cut and shaped into as many as 1,324 pieces sewn together. Each of the ears measures at 11.8 feet in diameter and from ear to ear, the balloon has a width of 78 feet. It took 750 hours to create the balloon and once it’s fully inflated, the balloon has a height of 105 feet (including the basket) and weighs 500 pounds. You could fit 100,000 soccer balls inside of the Osito Bimbo balloon!

Piloted by John Petrehn, who has been named one of the top seven balloon pilots in the world, the 2017 Rise & Shine Tour made six stops at festivals across the United States. You could spot Osito Bimbo at the following balloon festivals and events this year.

  • California | Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival | June 3 and 4, 2017
  • Illinois | Lisle Eyes to the Skies Festival | June 30 through July 2, 2017
  • New Jersey | QuickCheck Festival of Ballooning | July 28 through 30, 2017
  • Texas | In Touch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival | September 22 through September 24, 2017
  • New Mexico | Albuquerque International Balloon Festival | October 7 through October 15, 2017
  • Georgia | Owl-O-Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival | October 27 and 28, 2017

At every festival, Bimbo USA sets up an interactive booth where festival-goers can discover more about the brand and try the products. As for the balloon itself, at the hot air balloon festivals Osito Bimbo joins in by flying among the other hundreds of hot air balloons in the “glow” tradition. “Glow” is when the balloons are inflated at dusk while tethered to the ground as the burners are lit to create a fascinating light display. Up, up, and away this iconic balloon goes!


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